Corbyn makes election pledge to end Syria airstrikes and push for peace process
Airstrikes should be suspended and all parties should get back to the negotiating table in a bid to end the Syrian war, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said.
Corbyn told the BBC Monday that he supported an end to the UK’s airstrikes in the war-ravaged country, and said that it was in the interests of all parties to return to the negotiating table.
“I would say to President Trump ‘listen, it’s in nobody’s interests for this war to continue. Let’s get the Geneva process going quickly,” he told the interviewer.
“In the meantime, no more strikes. Have the UN investigation into the war crime of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and take it on from there.”
“I want us to say ‘listen, let’s get people around the table quickly.’ A way of achieving that – suspend the strikes? Possibly. The point has to be to bring about a political solution.”
As Labour leader Corbyn opposed extending bombing to Syria in the 2015 vote on the issue, but gave his MPs a free hand to decide for themselves.
In the end, 66 Labour MPs backed the bombing.
Asked if he would use the UK’s extrajudicial drone assassination program to go after terrorist leaders like Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Corbyn asked: “What is the objective here?
“Is the objective to start more strikes which may kill many innocent people, as has happened, or is the objective to get a political solution in Syria? Approach it from that position,” he said.
“I think the leader of Isis not being around would be helpful. I am no supporter or defender in any way whatsoever of Isis. But I would also argue that the bombing campaign has killed a large number of civilians who are virtually prisoners of Isis, so you have got to think about these things.”
Corbyn’s comments came as Defence Secretary Michael Fallon took to the airwaves to blast the Labour leader.
In an interview with Sky News, Fallon said Corbyn’s approach to defense was “staggeringly irresponsible” and “chaotic” and would risk the security of the country if he was elected.